inTouch: Heard Any Good Books Lately?
Sometimes audiobooks are not given their due. It takes talent and skill to put together a great audiobook production (as an aside, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have won Grammys for their work in the arena). Still, audiobooks sometimes get lost in the shuffle, so to speak. However, with more mobile devices available, reading enthusiasts are finding that there are new technologies, such as Booktrack, to marry books and sound.
Before the written word, people’s only option was to listen to stories; now, even with reading as an option, we may see more and more people getting excited about audiobooks because they don’t have to sit at the feet of a griot or traveling storyteller.
Some of the earliest “talking books” were for people who could not see. Cassette tapes took audiobooks to a new level because they were much more portable than records or earlier recording devices. And now, the digital world is making audiobooks even more portable.
Ordflyt, out of Norway, wants to be the Spotify for books. Springwise.com reports that “Currently in beta, Ordflyt lets audiobook fans listen to their favorite works for free from Windows, Linux or Mac PCs, wherever and whenever they want; iPhone or Android apps are coming soon.” Right now, they offer Norwegian books, but they plan to offer books in English as well (which will be great for me because sadly the only word I recognized on their website was “gratis.”)
Good ideas spread and get adopted quickly and Springwise wonders if Ordflyt will soon have international partners or imitators.
If you’re looking for innovative ideas in reading, don’t just look domestically, broaden your search to other countries. England has a website that is being called a Kickstarter for books and a Portuguese publisher experimented with Fbooks, an interactive version of a tale that was told via Facebook, complete with profiles from the characters.
And if you want free audiobooks, you don’t have to wait for Ordflyt. Public libraries are an option. There are also websites like LibriVox, where you can download recorded versions of public domain books that are read by volunteers. Booksshouldbefree.com and OpenCulture.com also have public domain works, and not just classic lit but also contemporary works. Project Gutenberg offers books read by people and by machines. Podiobooks and New Fiction.com let you download serialized versions of stories.
Read an essay on the joy of hiking with audiobooks.
MOVED BY WHAT YOU READ?
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Elsewhere on inReads: Some e-books offer enhanced versions, not exactly audiobooks, but not exactly not.